10 Things Glasgow 2014 has Taught Me | Eclectic Cake: 10 Things Glasgow 2014 has Taught Me

Sunday, 3 August 2014

10 Things Glasgow 2014 has Taught Me

After 11 awe-inspiring days, over 140 Commonwealth smashed records and 50,000 cuddly Clyde mascots with new homes, Glasgow 2014 is over. It will leave a massive sport-shaped hole in my days but hopefully I can fill the void with great memories and lessons the XX Commonwealth Games have taught me...

1) Glasgow is not all battered Mars bars and beer

The city is one of the friendliest around, as I found out during my visit, and locals will jump at the chance to show off the home they're so proud of, from the wealth of culture and history in the galleries to the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. Just like the folk, Glasgow buzzes with a lively quirk and I know my living room will feel a little less welcoming without a Glaswegian accent beaming from the TV.

2) Sport is sport

Whilst it wouldn't offer a level playing ground for everyone to compete against each other, it's brilliant to see the para events held in amongst the rest. They weren't separated – sport was sport, athletes were athletes and each got to enjoy the same roar of support from the crowds.

3) The sporting community is generous

Just one of many stories of generosity comes from charity, Kit Us Out. Borne from their experience as Paralympic Gamesmakers, the founders of this organisation helps to provide much needed kit for para-athletes from developing countries. This kit, be it wheelchairs, trainers or goggles, helps to level the playing field and lets them shine as athletes.

4) Technology is making sport more accessible

You can find anything on the internet including, as Kenyan javelin gold medalist, Julius Yego found out, who learned his technique from videos on YouTube. Without the technology, Kenya may not be celebrating their first Commonwealth champion in the sport. Technology has also helped spectators, those with a visual impairment were able to enjoy audio description with small hand-held radios at the venues.

5) Age ain't nothing but a number

It seems rare that any top sporting champion is above 30 but Jo Pavey, at 40 years old, crossed the line in third place to earn the 5,000m bronze. At the other end of the spectrum, also with a bronze medal, is Scottish para-swimmer Erraid Davies who, at just 13 years old, is notably one of the youngest competitors at the games.

6) There's no sure thing

It was a pleasure to watch the absolute shock on Scott Murdoch's face when the Scottish swimmer smashed his 200m Breaststroke PB and the British record to get an unexpected gold. His teammate, a poster boy for the event, was 'meant' to get the win but, as Murdoch proved, anything can happen on the day.

7) Fans boost performance

Almost every post-competition athlete interview mentions the crowds, the home teams especially seemed to use that energy to push them to glory. That support is obviously important in powering athletes to deliver their best performances and it's clear in the way they thank the crowds. Greg Rutherford spent his time post-gold-winning jump dodging the security guard who was trying his best to herd him away from signing tickets and taking selfies with fans.

8) Big personalities are important

If the public aren't interested in an event, they won't buy the tickets, it won't get the funding it needs to operate and the show will not go on. So to have such big personalities, like Usain Bolt who brings the crowds in, is really important. The public want to watch a show, to be entertained, and these personalities certainly deliver.

9) If it's on TV people will watch it

The BBC Glasgow 2014 coverage showed everything, from women's weightlifting to men's table tennis, para-swimming to shooting, it was all there. And so was the audience. Even when there was little clue on rules or scoring or technique, audiences marvelled at the showcase. Hopefully, TV bosses will see this as encouragement to be a little braver and show a variety of sports and athletes more regularly.

10) There's a sport for everyone

Whether you're tall or short, petite or stacked, two arms or one, with 17 different sports, there's a commonwealth sport out there for you. The brilliant Steve Way found a hidden sporting talent, as he went from an overweight smoker to British record-holding marathon runner! So pick a sport and give it a go, you might be talented, you don't know it yet.


  1. I loved this!

    One of my fav things about the Olympics and Comonwealth Games is lesser acknowledged sports getting shown on TV. I hope one day the UK can be like other countries and shows all the sports (instead of making me find netball games on YouTube).

    Morag x